Islamia College University (ICU) Peshawar is a sought after destination; a large number of students want to study there but not all can get through. Especially since the administration has increased the fees for self-financed seats.
Talking to The Express Tribune on Wednesday, students complained the university administration not only hiked up the fees but also added to the number of self-financed seats to collect more money. They said admissions on open or merit seats have very high merit criteria; only those can apply who get nearly 100% in Secondary School Certificate exams.
The number of seats stated by the administration show there is more space through the self-financed option than merit. However, the varsity denied adding more seats.
As per the administration, the requirement for pre-medical merit seats for women is 1,002 marks out of 1,100 and there are 50 such seats. For those who opt for self-financing, the grade requirement falls to 979 marks and there are 200 seats available.
With 100 more merit-based seats for men in pre-med, they have to secure at least 1,013 marks. Male students who can afford to pay for their admission need to get 985 marks and there are 250 such seats available, 50 more than the women.
In pre-engineering, the number of open seats for women is a mere 15 and the merit requirement stands at 972. The number of seats remains the same for self-financing and the marks requirement is 951.
In the same discipline, men have a whopping 150 seats in the merit-based category for which they must secure 989 marks. There are 200 self-financed positions for which these students must have attained 959 in their SSC exam.
Those from a low-income background cannot afford to pay the high fees required for self-financed seats. These students have demanded the administration increase the number of open seats instead of adding to the number of self-financed seats.
“I got 990 marks [out of 1,100] in my SSC exam but failed to get admission on merit as the criteria for the programme I applied to is 1,013 marks,” said Zeeshan who came from Nowshera for admission in the FA/FSc programme.
Bar too high
Yasir Ali, another student, said, “Due to the high merit requirement, I am compelled to opt for another government college.” He added his parents could not afford to pay the full fee and advised that he apply elsewhere in the city.
As he explained the reason behind the high fees, ISU Assistant Director Izharullah told The Express Tribune students who were admitted on self-financed seats are taught in the second shift. He added instructors who teach in the second shift are paid for each class in addition to their salaries. This means the university needs more money.
Izharullah denied rumours that the number of self-financed or open seats had been changed, “They have been the same since the beginning”. He said the fee structure for merit seats in pre-medical is Rs26,000 per year and Rs25,000 for pre-engineering. Those applying on the self-financing quota have to submit Rs66,000 and Rs65,000 respectively.
For a merit-based seat in computer sciences, students have to pay Rs23,000 per annum and Rs61,000 for a self-financed seat.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2015.